Avis Budget Group Inc. has been penalized $275,000 by New York’s Attorney General Letitia James for its unlawful practice of refusing car rentals to those without credit cards.
Contrary to state regulations, an inquiry by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) found that 74 Avis and Budget outlets in the state had communicated to prospective renters the necessity of presenting a credit card.
The probe began in 2022 following a consumer complaint and was substantiated by OAG officials who, upon visiting or contacting multiple locations, including in Buffalo, Amherst, New York City, and Syracuse, were similarly declined services without credit cards.
Attorney General James highlighted the inherent discrimination of the policy, pointing out that nearly 30% of Americans don’t possess credit cards, with marginalized communities disproportionately affected. “Avis Budget unfairly created hurdles for individuals without credit cards, particularly hurting low-income consumers and communities of color,” she remarked. As part of the settlement, besides the financial penalty, Avis Budget will revamp its policies and worker training modules to adhere to state mandates, ensuring that every customer is served without discrimination based on their credit or banking status.
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